Managing Emotions by 8g7js2


									                                                By Sam Lloyd

Almost everyone grows up believing a “Feeling Myth”.

MYTH: People make each other feel. What I say and do makes you feel what you
      feel. What you say and do makes me feel what I feel. (Thus: we are
      responsible for each other's feelings!)

FACT:       People choose their own feelings. What I say and do invites you to feel
            certain feelings, but you choose your actual emotional response. What you
            say and do invites me to feel certain feelings, but I choose my response.
            We each are responsible for our own feelings. We also are responsible for
            the invitations we send to others.

When we believe the myth we give up a lot of our personal power because we
allow the words and actions of others to produce the feelings in us rather than
choosing our emotions. When we decide to take charge we can add to our personal
power by choosing the emotions rather than being controlled by events or others.

                                        HOW FEELINGS ARE CHOSEN

             A = Stimulus (words, gestures, expression, event, etc.)

             B = Self-Talk (what we say in our internal dialogue about others or
             ourselves, about the situation)

             C = Feeling (mad, sad, glad, scared)

For example, if your colleagues surprise you with a party on your birthday by
singing “Happy Birthday”, serving a cake and punch, and giving you “humorous”
gifts (cane, adult diapers, denture adhesive, etc.), the emotions you experience
would be the result of what you think and say internally. Some people would say to
themselves, “What a nice group of people to remember my birthday!” and they
probably would feel happy and excited. Others might think and say, “Why in the
world did they think I would find these things funny?!” and they would feel
disappointed or angry.

We literally choose our own emotional responses by what we choose to think and
say to ourselves. Much of what we think and say internally are habitual ways of
thinking and interpreting life situations but we can change those responses. When
we change what we think and say, we take charge of our own emotional responses!

Choosing emotions does not mean that you are pretending everything is wonderful
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all the time and it does not mean that you are denying honest emotions. It is
natural and healthy to feel sadness and grief when we lose someone we love. It is
natural to feel disappointment when we don’t get the promotion we hoped for. How
long you will have the bad feelings is up to you and you can learn to make the
choice to move back into good feelings when are ready to move on.

Feelings are an integral part of you at all times. Every tim e you deny a hurt, fear,
wish, frustration, longing, joy - any feeling - you discount a valuable and real part
of yourself. You suppress the Free Child in you.

Attempting to control, ignore, or discount emotions does not work!

Because you are responsible for your feelings does not mean you have to justify
them. Feelings simply are! Your internal Comforter Parent gives permission for all
feelings to exist. We invite you to start allowing your feelings into your awareness
without judging them.

You don't have to act on or express your feelings every time. You do need to have
awareness of them and allow your internal dialogue to give permission to voice
them if you choose. Unexpressed feelings tend to accumulate and will eventually
spill out and often that will be an occasion when you say and do things you later
regret. Learning to express your emotions to others in appropriate and respectful
ways will help you function more effectively and will improve your relationships.

Internal Expression Example: "I'm f eeling _________ and that's OK."

External Expression Example: “I’m disappointed that you forgot my birthday.”

 • Be sure to add "and that's OK."
 • Say "I'm feeling" or "I feel" - not "it" or "that" feels.
 • Increase your awareness of emotions by "t uning in" to your body.
   For example, a tense jaw, back, neck, etc. signals the presence of a feeling and
   so does feeling heat in your face or neck, a sudden increase in your heart rate or
   your breathing rate.
• Structure some play in life for your Free Child to increase good feelings. (How did
   you play as a child?)
• Sharing feelings with a friend or family member who agrees not to judge, criticize,
  or advise will help you learn to express your feelings.

You are in charge – choose your emotions and feel your power!

Sam Lloyd is Diversity Chair on the BAHRA Board and is founder and president of
 SuccessSystems, Inc., a company that provides training for organizations and
 coaching for individuals.

SuccessSystems, Inc.                    P. O. Box 18208   Boulder, CO 80308 (303) 998-0248    2
“Training & Coaching People To Excel”   Email:

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